ETIHAD STADIUM, MANCHESTER
"For me it’s very important to be an entertaining team,” said Manuel Pellegrini after City's latest demolition of a title rival, this time the 6-3 win over league leaders Arsenal. It was a hugely significant result for City who have now cut Arsenal's lead at the top to just three points. Pellegrini's commitment to playing an attacking brand of football is winning him plaudits, and City look near-unbeatable at home.
Arsenal have been the only team who have put anything like a title-winning run together so far this season, but after dropping points at home to Everton last weekend, it will be interesting to see how they react to this latest setback. For City, sorting out their away form is now an absolute priority. If they do, it's difficult to see anyone else winning the title.
Here are six things we learned from an unforgettable match.
City have now scored an incredible 47 goals in their 16 Premier League matches this season. The next highest scorers are Liverpool with 34. It’s an excellent record that justifies Manuel Pellegrini’s insistence on playing with an attacking philosophy from the first minute of games to the last.
Incredibly, 35 of those goals have come in City's eight home matches where they have a 100 percent record. With Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo, David Silva and Samir Nasri all playing at their very best, it's easy to see why City are scoring plenty. There's a thirst for goals, particularly at home, and it's fantastic to watch.
Even at 5-3 with just seconds left on the clock in this match, they continued to attack and scored a sixth from the penalty spot, increasing their remarkable goal difference to +29. No other side in England can match their attacking potency.
City have beaten Manchester United (4-1), Tottenham (6-0) and now Arsenal (6-3) at the Etihad this season, and it's going to take a brilliant performance from a title rival to end that run. Psychologically it's a run of results which damages their opponents, many of whom must now fear playing City at home, and also breeds belief amongst their own players.
Chelsea are the only side expected to challenge for the league who have beaten City so far in the game at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, and even in that match it was City who dominated the play. Only a catastrophic error from Hart, the final straw for Pellegrini who dropped him for the next match, saw City lose.
“I think it’s very difficult to play against them.”
That was Manuel Pellegrini's assessment of his team's midfield, who once again demonstrated their mix of steel and flair as they demolished Arsenal and moved within three points of the North London side.
In Fernandinho and Yaya Toure, City have the best central-midfield pairing in the league. Fernandinho has arguably been City's best player this season, with his energy, tackling ability and range of passing making his £30 million (via The Mirror) transfer fee, which raised a few eyebrows, seem like a bargain.
He and Toure have developed an excellent understanding. Fernandinho tends to sit deep and break up the play, with Toure more likely to bomb forward and join the attackers. It's working brilliantly.
On the wings, City have Silva and Nasri, who are a joy to watch, pulling the strings. They both share many of the same characteristics, with vision, touch, skill and an eye for a pass their defining qualities.
Those four have established themselves as City's first-choice midfield, and are causing opponents all sorts of problems.
Despite the wealth of attacking talent in City's ranks, there's no doubting their goalkeeper problem. Joe Hart was quite rightly dropped after a series of costly errors, but his replacement, Costel Pantilimon, is far from the goalkeeper City need.
He is yet to make a serious error, and so his place in the side is probably justified for now, but he never looks comfortable, particularly on crosses which he has a habit of fumbling.
City need to bring in a goalkeeper during the January transfer window or else they risk undermining their title challenge.
The soft-centred, easy to beat Arsenal of recent seasons appears to have gone, replaced by a stronger unit, capable of stringing together a run of results. Even today, in a game where they conceded six goals, they still demonstrated great quality, and will surely be in the reckoning for the title come May.
With Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mezut Ozil and Theo Walcott, Arsenal possess inventiveness, pace, passing and skill in abundance.They also have the best defensive record in the league, even after a heavy loss like this one.
This defeat is a blow, but they have enough quality to bounce back.
The only dampener for City was the withdrawal of Sergio Aguero after 50 minutes with what is thought to be a calf injury. It could hardly be worse news for City.
He scored the opening goal in this match, a superb volley after Martin Demichelis' flick-on after 14 minutes, his 13th league goal of the season, and his 19th in all competitions. His performance level has risen this season after an injury-hit 2012/13, and he his now widely seen as one of the finest players in European football.
Every time he steps out on the pitch at the moment he looks like he believes he can score. If he now misses games over the congested Christmas period, it will be a huge blow for The Blues.